Brian Burke insinuated yesterday that those tagging him as the future general manager of the Maple Leafs might be burning some of that funny stuff again.
"You guys know my view on some members of the media," he said yesterday. "Some of the stuff they write, I've said it a million times, can only be described as a drug-induced fantasy."
While the vultures continue to circle over the beleaguered Leafs braintrust of general manager John Ferguson and coach Paul Maurice, speculation has run rampant concerning possible candidates who might replace them.
Among the names most frequently mentioned is the cantankerous Burke, the Anaheim Ducks GM who helped bring a Stanley Cup to Orange County last spring.
Burke attended a press conference welcoming Todd Bertuzzi back to Vancouver yesterday and was asked about the T.O. scuttlebutt.
Cue the rant.
"To talk about a GM going there, who doesn't want to go there, who's happy and doesn't have an out, I wish some of these people would call me before they write these rumours," Burke said. "It's flattering. You're talking about an Original Six team and a great hockey market in Canada.
"But I can't say it anymore clearly. My wife and I want to stay in Anaheim and I think ownership wants me to stay."
Burke anticipates receiving an extension from the Ducks down the road.
"I'm under contract for this year and next year and I intend to stay in Anaheim for as long as they want me," Burke said. "I don't have an out and I don't want an out."
Back in Toronto, meanwhile, the city was buzzing over the comments made by Richard Peddie claiming he made a mistake four years ago by bringing in a rookie general manager into the hockey fishbowl of Toronto.
The man in question, Ferguson, was peppered with questions concerning Peddie's statement.
Rather than talk publicly about the issue, Ferguson opted to take the high road.
"No one puts more pressure on themselves than I do," Ferguson said.
"Our focus is strictly on making this team better. All that other stuff is just background noise."